We’re doing part-time security work, jokes Lebanon boss after break-ins at base

We’re doing part-time security work, jokes Lebanon boss after break-ins at base

10/30/2022

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Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is hoping to focus his attention on his clash with the Kangaroos after a “crazy week” in which his Lebanon players chased and detained an intruder in their team hotel.

Speaking after Lebanon booked their place in the knockout stages of the World Cup with a 74-12 victory over Jamaica at the Leigh Sports Village, Cheika revealed all about two break-ins at their Manchester base.

Cheika, who lost his laptop following the first break-in, was able to see the funny side after his players took the law into their own hands the second time.

“We had another intruder last night,” he said. “They say we’re sort of part-timers, I think the other part-time work we’re doing at the moment is security work.

“Someone came in the team room. I’m not sure what happened, but they called me and I settled it all down and the police did their bit after that.”

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Police were also summoned following the first break-in when the Cedars’ entire playing kit was stolen, only to be retrieved later in the night.

“It’s been a bit of a crazy week,” Cheika added. “I woke up early in the morning to do a Zoom and went down to the team room and everything was gone.

“We got our strip back, that’s the main thing.

We had another intruder last night. They say we’re sort of part-timers, I think the other part-time work we’re doing at the moment is security work

“I think we handled it pretty well and now we’re pushing on past that.”

Cheika was delighted with the Cedars’ 13-try romp against Jamaica, highlighted by a hat-trick of tries from former Australia winger Josh Mansour, which earned them a place in Friday’s first quarter-final against Mal Meninga’s Australia at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium.

Cheika combines his Lebanon duties with being head coach of Argentina’s rugby union side and now faces a hectic weekend, with his Pumas playing Eddie Jones’ England in an autumn international at Twickenham next Sunday.

Cheika said: “We’ve been really blessed to have had an opportunity to play against New Zealand and now it’s Australia.

“When you come into a World Cup you want to test yourself against the best and this will certainly will be a test.

“We understand we’re the underdogs, that’s pretty clear. Along with England, they’ve been the best team in the tournament so far.”

Cheika says he will rely heavily on his assistants Felipe Contepomi and Matt King with Argentina and Lebanon respectively as he juggles both roles this week.

“It’s probably going to be one day here, one day there,” he said. “Everything has to be nailed down here first because we’re in a World Cup and it’s extremely important.

“We’ve done a lot of preparation work with the coaches from Argentina. They were here from Sunday through Wednesday with the team last week.

“We had permission to have a camp and I was able to spend a couple of days with them because we had days off.”

Cheika’s team had far too much class for Jamaica in the first meeting between the two teams as they secured their last-eight berth for the second successive World Cup.

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Jamaica ended their first World Cup without a win, but assistant coach Roy Calvert is excited for the future of rugby league in Jamaica.

He said: “Back in Jamaica we have thousands of young kids who are looking for an opportunity, they are getting scholarships to go to university to play rugby league.”

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